I Got a Basketball Jones

The NBA has done a great job of mixing the old school with the new in their playoff commercials and through the use of technology has made them appear to be songs. Very cool concept and great seeing some of the old highlights of when I fell in love with the game. So I started thinking of the greatest moments I've witnessed over my three decades of watching basketball…

10. Tom Chambers Dunks on Mark Jackson
Yeah, there have been a dozen or so dunks better, but when Tom Chambers used Mark Jackson's sternum for a trampoline, all I could say was "wow". I was a huge fan of Mark Jackson at the time, so I was embarrassed for him, but it was a memorable moment.

9. Bird Steals the Ball
I'm a Laker fan, so to include the Celtics on this list pains me and for it to be Larry Bird is gut-wrenching, but I couldn't leave this play off the list. I remember watching the game that Sunday afternoon and thinking that Detroit was about to take a 3-2 series lead and close the series out in 6 in Detroit. But, Isiah Thomas lost his mind for a second and Larry Bird swooped in and Johnny Most's call went down in Boston history.

8. The Reign Man Takes Flight
When Shawn Kemp dunked on Alton Lister it looked like something from a video game. The 6'10 manchild took his first stride from the foul line cuffed the ball, cocked it back and gave Lister the business, then pointed to let him know that he got posterized…classic!

7. My Left foot
I always knew Isiah Thomas was tough, I saw him fight enough during games to learn that, but what he did in Game 6 of the 1988 NBA Finals was toughness-turned-legendary. On a severely sprained ankle, Zeke played through pain and scored 25 points in the third quarter (a Finals record), including 14 straight at one point. The Pistons were unable to close out the Lakers in game 6 and lost the series in 7.

6. Kobe's Alley-Oop to Shaq
The Portland Trailblazer/Los Angeles Laker wars of the turn of the century are often forgotten because of the series' with the Kings and Spurs or even the Kobe/Shaq feud, but there's one moment that could never be forgotten. The Blazers led the Lakers by 15 with over 10 minutes to go in Game 7 and proceeded to fall apart and it was capped off by Kobe Bryant crossing Scottie Pippen over, driving towards the basket drawing help and lobbing the pass to Shaq who slammed it home. The Blazers called timeout, Shaq streaked towards his teammates and the rest is a three-peat!

5. Keep the Crossover
If you listen closely when Michael Jordan switched onto Allen Iverson, Phil Jackson yells out "Get 'em Michael". Now why did he go and do that, His Airness went toe-to-toe with The Answer and got served…twice.

4. 1988 Slam Dunk Contest
Watching Dominique Wilkins and Michael Jordan battle it out in the 1988 Slam Dunk Contest at Chicago Stadium was classic, as each man dipped into their bag of tricks and pulled out high-scoring dunk after high-scoring dunk. The Human Highlight Film was definitely on his "A game" against the hometown Jordan and I think he was robbed, especially since Michael did the same dunk twice! But what a dunk to do twice, Michael took off from the foul, cocked the ball back, flailed his legs and sent it home to win the battle.

3. Dr. J Rocks the Baby to Sleep
This is still my favorite play ever, such grace, such flair, such power, Michael Cooper never had a chance and halfway through the dunk, he realized it and ducked for cover because Julius Erving was making the poster of all posters. Dr. J got a still and took down off the left sideline with Cooper trailing him, and what happened next was…wow!

2. Kobe scores 81!
I don't care if you love him or hate him, you ain't never seen a cat score 81 points like Kobe did Toronto on January 22, 2006. Yeah, I know Wilt scored 100, but he towered over everyone, a perimeter player scoring that many points means he had to be on fire! Kobe shot 28-46 from the field and 7-13 from the 3pt line. A few months earlier he scored 62 through three quarters then sat the entire fourth quarter, but to see him come out for the fourth was historic.

1. Simply Magic
A few months prior I sat in a closet crying that Earvin "Magic" Johnson had acquired the AIDS virus and would be forced to retire, but I had the biggest smile on my face as he took turns playing one-on-one against Michael Jordan and Isiah Thomas on his way to becoming MVP of the 1992 All-Star Game in Orlando. I will never forget the smile on his face after he made that final three-point shot.

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